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May is Stroke Awareness month

Private Home Health Care would like to remind you of how to look for signs of a stroke.  We would also like to share tips from the CDC on how to prevent strokes.

Signs to look for:  BE FAST  (www.strokeawareness.com)

B – Balance – loss of balance or dizziness

E – Eyes – vision changes

F – Face – face drooping, bad headache

A – Arms – weakness, numbness

S – Speech – trouble speaking, confusion

T – Time – time to call 911

Ways to prevent strokes:  (www.cdc.gov/stroke)

Choose healthy foods and drinks.  We have spoken of this before.  Foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in fiber.  Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

Keep a healthy weight – check with your doctor on what’s right for you.

Get regular physical activity – moderate activity like a brisk walk, 30 minutes per day

Don’t smoke

Limit alcohol

Work with your doctor to control medical conditions and blood pressure, check cholesterol, and treat any heart issues.

If your doctor recommends medicines make sure you understand and ask questions.  

In 2018, 17% of deaths were attributed to strokes.  Private Home Health Care wants you to gain knowledge to keep you as healthy as possible.

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National Walnut Day

National Walnut Day

Walnuts.  You can find them in the grocery store, whole, shelled in pieces or chopped.  Easy right?  Wrong.

Did you know that walnuts grow on trees?  Trees that when planted take five to seven years to become an adult with walnuts.  The walnuts are surrounded by a green husk.  They are ready for harvesting when the husk dries and splits revealing the walnut.

In California, it’s usually August when the walnuts are ready to harvest.  Once harvesting begins it can last up until late November to complete.  That’s four months!

Yesterday was National Walnut Day.  According to studies by Harvard Health back in 2018, there are health benefits to the mighty walnut.  These nuts may not be the answer to all your health problems but there are ways that adding walnuts to your diet can help make improvements.

Walnuts contain a lot of polyunsaturated fatty acids.  These are much better than saturated fats.  Based on the studies a diet rich in walnuts can help with cholesterol with reductions in total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides between 3-5%. There are also anti-inflammatory qualities in the walnut.

Private Home Health Care loves walnuts and we believe they are a healthy snack alternative to any diet.

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National Emergency Services Week

For 48 years we have recognized the third week in May as National Emergency Services (EMS) week.  Back in 1974 President Gerald Ford first observed the week to honor those professionals who work each day to save others’ lives.

EMS workers are first responders, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics.  These men and women are trained to have quick reactions and good decision-making skills.  

They study emergency medical and paramedic technology.  They get a post secondary degree and they must be certified in CPR.  EMS workers must have state licensure and an NREMT certificate (National Registry of Emergency Technicians).

Emergency responders can be found everywhere, from rural communities to big cities.  They must be ready at any time to apply their knowledge in critical and life-saving situations.

This week, we hope you can thank a first responder that may have helped you.  Try sharing stories on social media using #NationalEMSWeek. 

Private Home Health Care sends a heartfelt thank you this week to all Emergency Services workers we know.

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International Hummus Day

Hummus, an arabic word for chickpea, is a healthy and yummy food that is easy to make and readily available in grocery stores.

It consists of chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame seeds), lemon juice, olive oil and garlic.  You mix all these ingredients in a food processor or blender and enjoy.

Hummus is a plant-based protein with vitamins like iron, phosphate, folate and vitamin B.  It’s naturally gluten-, nut- and dairy-free.   It has a low glycemic index so it helps control blood sugar levels.

The antioxidants from the olive oil and sesame seeds helps fight inflammation and the fiber in hummus feeds the healthy bacteria in your stomach to improve digestion.

The Mediterranean diet includes hummus paired with vegetables and whole-wheat pita bread. You can also include it in a sandwich on a whole-wheat wrap.  Homemade hummus will last 4-5 days in the refrigerator.  You can also put it in a well sealed container or zip lock bag and freeze it for 4 months.

Private Home Health Care loves to make hummus and enjoy it as a snack with red and yellow peppers.  Bon appetit!

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National Limerick Day

A limerick is a type of lyric poem with a very specific rhyme scheme and metric pattern.  Limericks are often for comedy but they can be satirical as well.  It is made up of 5 lines of poetry.

Tomorrow is National Limerick Day.

Lines 1, 2 and 5 have the same end rhyme and the same rhythm

Lines 3 and 4 have the same end rhyme and same rhythm

Lines 1, 2 and 5 are lengthier than lines 3 and 4

Each line follows a pattern of unstressed/unstressed/stressed syllables

The meter follows this pattern:

Lines 1 2 and 5 are usually 9 syllables

Lines 3 and 4 are usually 6 syllables

Here are a couple of examples of a Limerick poem:

“There was an Old Man with a beard

Who said, “It is just as I feared!”

Two Owls and a Hen

Four Larks and a Wren

Have all built their nests in my beard!”

Edward Lear (this Brit popularized the limerick)

“Our novels get longa and longa

Their language gets stronga and stronga

There’s much to be said 

For a life that is led

in illiterate places like Bonga”

HG Wells

Private Home Health Care hopes you can have some fun tomorrow working on your own limerick.  It’s good for your brain and you might add a bit of laughter to your day!

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National Asparagus Month

May is National Asparagus Month and this vegetable packs a lot of goodness!

Asparagus is a herbaceous, perennial plant.  It comes in green, white and purple with green being the most plentiful in our area.

Asparagus is very low in calories and it’s loaded with essential vitamins and minerals,  including folate and Vitamins A, C and K.

It’s a good source of antioxidants.  These are the compounds that help protect your cells from unstable molecules that can damage your DNA and lead to chronic disease.  It’s also excellent for digestive health because it contains good dietary fiber.

If you are pregnant the CDC encourages a diet rich in folic acid and in folate (Vitamin B9).  Asparagus is high in Vitamin B9.  Both are important early in the pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects.  Neural tubes are involved in early brain and spine development.

More research is still needed but since asparagus is a good source of potassium it is believed that it can help keep blood pressure in the healthy range and it may even help lower it.

Asparagus is a healthy choice for a vegetable and Private Home Health Care would like to share how to pick out the freshest bunches.

#1 – make sure the stalks are firm.  They should not be dried out, wrinkly, rubbery, soft or limp.

#2 – the tips should be tightly closed and look fresh.  Avoid if they look dry or if they are starting to open.

#3 – the store should have the stalks sitting in water.  Water gives a better chance of them being fresh.

Happy shopping! 

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National Nurses Day

Nurses.  

You can find a nurse in a doctor’s office or administering a test at a hospital.  You might also find them at a patient’s side during a birth.  Look in any school and you’ll find a nurse dealing with scrapes, fevers and these days, Covid testing.  A nurse is also a person  providing round the clock home health care for those in need. 

It takes dedication and commitment to becoming a nurse and they are in many different health care facilities.

A nurse needs schooling of either two or four years.  They must also pass a test administered by the National Council by the State Boards of Nursing.  Once a nurse passes the test they apply for a license.  Each year there are continuing education units (CEUs) needed to keep licenses up-to-date.

A few interesting facts about nurses:

4-5 miles – walked by a nurse in a given day

#4 – ranking of nurse practitioners in the 2019 list of 25 Best Jobs

19 million – the number of nurses in the world

41% – the number of nurses working in hospitals

Private Home Health Care hopes on National Nurses Day you can find time to thank a nurse or give a gift card to a nurse.  You might also take time to learn about Florence Nightingale who is considered the pioneer of nursing.

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Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo to everyone from Private Home Health Care.

Don’t be fooled thinking it’s Mexican Independence day.  It was an important day for Mexico because the Mexican resistance was able to keep the French army and Napoleon III from reaching Mexico City.  The French had hoped to overthrow the Mexican President on that day of May 5, 1862. This was the Battle of Puebla.

Look forward to the US Civil War and what could have happened if the French had won and then supported the Confederacy.  The United States would be a very different place today.

Try adding a little bit of Mexico into your life today by enjoying guacamole with tortilla chips.  Below is a recipe for chunky guacamole from Food Network.

In a small bowl, mash 3 avocados.  Mix in ¼ cup of diced white onion, ½ cup of diced plum tomato and chopped cilantro.  Add a bit of lime juice for taste.  (If you want a little spice you can add 1 diced seeded jalapeno).

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National Hospital Week

Today begins National Hospital Week.  The week is set aside to recognize and commend all hospital workers in our community.  

Hospital workers serve people in many kinds of hospital settings like long-term, short-term, children’s hospitals and Veterans Hospitals.  They include nurses, doctors, and also lab workers, office workers, and maintenance and cleaning workers.  Each hospital worker has an important role in providing quality services to its patients.

Our communities need the dedicated services of hospital workers.  This week take a moment to thank a hospital worker or share a story of someone in a hospital setting who showed you compassion.  If you use social media you could share a story online with using #NationalHospitalWeek.

Private Home Health Care would like to thank all of the hospital workers that have entered our lives over the years.

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National Arbor Day

Today is National Arbor Day.  How many different types of trees can you name?

Nebraska is actually the state that first started Arbor Day back in the 1870’s.   A Nebraskan named J. Sterling Morton had a passion for trees.  This passion coincided with a time when Nebraska was an open territory with lots of open space and little trees.  

In 1872, Morton proposed a holiday to plant trees at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture.  The proposed name was “Arbor Day”.  A contest with prizes for the most properly planted trees on April 10 of that year there were an estimated one million trees planted in the state. Nebraska’s nickname before “The Cornhusker State “was The Tree Planter State. 

Over the years tree planting grew across the country and by 1920 over 45 states adopted a celebration of Arbor Day.  Today there is Arbor Day in all 50 states. This last Friday of April is National Arbor Day in most states but a few have different dates due to their growing season.

We can take trees for granted because they are all around us.  Even our cities take care to plant trees to help the environment.  

To celebrate Arbor Day take a hike in the woods and admire the trees and nature.  Try paying bills or get statements online to save on printing.  If you have a need you can also research trees and plant one in your yard.  After a few years the shade in the summer can be awesome. Enjoy the day!

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